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IRB appoints referees for Ireland's November internationals

Here are the men who will officiate our meetings with Samoa, Australia and New Zealand.

Owens will officiate Ireland's game against the All Blacks.
Owens will officiate Ireland's game against the All Blacks.
Image: ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

THE IRB HAS announced the list of refereeing appointments for the November internationals, and Ireland will be content with the selections made for their three fixtures.

The first game against Samoa on Saturday the 9th of November will see Steve Walsh in control. The 42-year-old is a native of New Zealand but represents the Australian Rugby Union (ARU) on the international stage.

Chris Pollock of the New Zealand Rugby Union will take charge of Ireland’s second fixture, versus Australia on Saturday the 16th of November. The Kiwi refereed the Lions’ first Test against the Wallabies in June,when Brian O’Driscoll came close to being yellow-carded for repeated ruck infringements.

Ireland’s final game of the series against the All Blacks will be adjudicated by Welsh referee Nigel Owens. The 42-year-old has been enjoying praise for the manner in which he refereed last weekend’s classic between New Zealand and South Africa in the Rugby Championship.

The TMO appointments for the three games are Carlo Damasco of Italy (for the Samoa encounter), Geoff Warren of the RFU (for the Australia game) and Graham Hughes of the RFU (for the All Blacks clash).

In terms of assistant referees, Wayne Barnes (RFU) and Luke Pearce (RFU) will be running the touchlines in the first game; Romain Poite (FFR) and Stuart Berry (SARU) will be helping Pollock in the second; and Jérôme Garces (FFR) and Greg Garner (RFU) are penciled in for the All Blacks’ visit.

Joe Schmidt now has plenty of time to study the refereeing style of the appointed officials, with the breakdown likely to be as essential as ever. Forwards coach John Plumtree will be keeping a close eye on how each of the three referees are dealing with the new scrum laws, and will hope to have his pack well prepared for what Walsh, Pollock and Owens are likely to reward.

What do you think of these appointments from an Irish perspective? Is this good news for Ireland or will they be whistled off the park in November?

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About the author:

Murray Kinsella

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